-Choosing a Deck
So you have read about Tarot. You've read about the cards, and now you're ready to move on to one of the most crucial parts of reading Tarot: buying cards. This can be a scary moment, because there are tarot decks EVERYWHERE, but you need to decide which one. Some people go and buy many, many decks so that they can have variety. I disagree with this.
If you are going to be using a deck to foretell your future, and the futures of others shouldn't you want to deeply personalize a deck? Your energies are going to be mingled with the cards, so why not just choose one? Now, before I get into a rant...I'll get back to the lesson.
There are two things I look for in a Tarot deck.
1) First, and I cannot stress this enough, make sure that the 'Tarot' deck you think you have is really a Tarot deck, and not an Oracle. An Oracle is anything that is used to tell the future. Tarot is a type of Oracle, but not all Oracles are Tarot decks. There are many decks of cards used to tell the future, and many of them are labelled as Tarot. Request a preview of the deck, and see; does it have the Major and Minor Arcana? Does is have a Fool, Magician, World, Tower etc.? Are the four suits Wands, Cups, Disks/Pentacles, and Swords? If the answer to all is yes, then it is a Tarot deck.
2) I recommend starting with a traditional deck (such as the Rider-Waite deck) because they have all of the proper symbols. Some people try to make decks and add random images, just to make the card aesthetically pleasing. This isn't a good idea. Ideally a Tarot deck should have all of the basic symbolism. There can be more, but only if it still applies meaning to the card.
As I said before, I use only one deck. It is the Rider-Waite Pocket deck. I have been using it for about three years. The Rider-Waite deck is one of the most traditional, and it's a really good beginner's deck. There is a lot of symbolism to help you memorize the meanings of each card, and although it's not the most beautiful I love it nonetheless.
There is the rumour that you must either, make your own deck, or have it given to you. To me this makes no sense. Does this mean that Pagans who don't know anyone else in the craft, and have to artistic ability can't do Tarot? Yes, it does. I can tell you right now that few people have decks given to them, or make their own. I didn't, and yet I am sitting here right now teaching you to use the Tarot.
Some people however do choose to make their own. This can be done if you are artistically inclined, or do good with computer graphics. They can be very pretty, and very useful. You see, when you buy a new deck, you need to blend your energies with them, however if you make your own every second you spend on them, your energies have already been poured into them.
I recommend that you look to this site for more information on which deck to choose.